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“For God So Loved that He Gave”

(John 3:16)

I. Introduction.
A. It’s Christmas time, a time of giving.
1. All of you are undoubtedly tired of shopping and wrapping by this time.
2. In a couple of days, you will give your presents to family and friends.

B. Many are reminded at this time of the year that God gave something to man: His Son.
1. God sent His Son into the world.
a. Born of a virgin.
b. Born in a cattle stall.
c. Laid in a manger, over 2000 years ago.

2. He sent His Son to give something very precious: salvation to all who believe.
a. God requires that a person be righteous to enter heaven.
b. But all have sinned and fallen short, in Adam and in our own lives.
c. So God sent His Son to do what we couldn’t: obey and die.
d. And all who turn from their sins, and receive this gift by faith, receive eternal life.

3. This morning, I want us to consider the difference between our giving and God’s.
4. I think as we consider these differences, it will show us how great God’s love is.

II. Sermon.
A. When we give, we give to those we love, to those we’re required to love. When God gives, He gives to those He loves
as well, but those He doesn’t have to love.
1. Consider to whom we give:
a. Fathers/mothers, husbands/wives, brothers/sisters, parents/children, friends/neighbors, people we work with.
b. What they all have in common is we love them.
c. But we are bound to do so by their love for us.
d. And by God’s commandment: love your neighbor as yourself.

2. God also gives to those He loves, but who don’t deserve it.
a. For God so loved the world, that He gave.
b. But the world is in sin, rejects God, doesn’t seek God, has rebelled against God.
c. God is not bound to show love.
d. Justice demands retribution. God owes man hell, not love.
e. But He is good to all, shows mercy to all His works.
f. And He is gracious to those who will receive His gift of salvation/reconciliation through His Son.
g. God gives to those who don’t deserve it.

B. When we give, we give to those who love us. When God gives, He gives to those who actually hate Him.
1. Consider again those to whom we give.
a. They are not only those whom we love, but those who love us.
b. When was the last time you gave a present to someone who hates you?
c. The Bible calls us to love those who hate us. Jesus says, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good
to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28).
2. This is what God does: He gives to those who hate Him.
a. He is kind to all and His mercies are over all His works.
b. Jesus says, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be
great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just
as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36).
c. But He is not only kind to those who hate Him, He even saves those who hate Him.
d. The Bible says we are at war with God, will not submit to God, to His Law, will not do good, will not seek Him,
will not come to His Son, apart from His grace.
e. But God gives grace to those who hate Him, so that they will receive His gift.
f. Paul writes, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the
course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of
disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and
of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His
great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with
Christ (by grace you have been saved) . . . For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Eph. 2:1-5, 8-9).
g. We give to those who love us, God gives to His enemies.

C. When we give, we give things that people really don’t need; God gives something that everyone needs.
1. Sometimes we give others the things they need.
a. Food, clothing, sometimes shelter, medical help to those who cross our path.
b. We give to those we’re responsible for what they need all the time.
c. But at Christmas time, most of what we give is not a need, but a want.
d. Consider what you’ve bought for others.
e. This isn’t wrong, but it’s what we do.

2. God gives the things we need.


a. He is the One who gives to each of us what we have: life, breath and all good things, including, food, clothing and
shelter.
b. He provides our needs, so we can provide for ourselves and those who depend on us.
c. But He also provides what we need most of all: salvation.
(i) The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
(ii) “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).
(iii) We all deserve eternal punishment in hell for our sins.
(iv) “But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
(v) It’s a free gift He gives, to all who see their need and will receive His Son, Jesus Christ, and trust in Him for
their salvation, not themselves.

D. Finally, when we give, we give things that won’t last; but God gives life that goes on forever.
1. Everything we can give will turn one day into dust.
a. They won’t last forever.
b. If these things outlast us, we have to leave them behind.

2. But God’s gift lasts forever.


a. Eternal life is a quality of life: fullness of love and joy in heaven.
b. But it’s a duration of life: it goes on forever.
c. All who receive this gift will never suffer for their sins, but enjoy the heaven Jesus has bought with His obedience
and suffering.

III. Application.

2
A. At this time of giving, consider that God has given something you need.
1. If you are a Christian, thank God for this blessing.
2. But if you’re not, receive His gift.
a. If you don’t receive God’s gift, you will burn in hell for eternity for your sins.
b. But if you will repent of your sins and turn to Christ, you will live forever with Him in heaven.

B. But let’s learn from the other things we have seen.


1. Learn to love those who hate you.
2. Learn to give to those who don’t deserve your love, your enemies.
3. Learn to give to others the things they need, especially this message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.